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Rotary clubs host event

By Staff | May 19, 2011

The Shepherdstown and Martinsburg Rotary clubs sponsored their annual World Affairs Seminar for area high school students on May 6 at the National Conservation Training Center just outside of Shepherdstown.

More than 70 students and teachers participated, representing the Hedgesville, Martinsburg and St. Maria Goretti high schools.

Rotary has been sponsoring this seminar for the past 48 years. The event was originated by the Martinsburg Rotary Club and Dr. Blaine Groves, a Martinsburg physician, and it has been a collaborative project of the Martinsburg and Shepherdstown Rotary clubs for the past 20 years.

This year’s topic, “International Environmental Careers – Globalizing Nature,” was aimed at focusing students on preparing themselves academically for careers in conservation in the U.S. and abroad.

The students heard presentations about various international conservation projects. Speakers included Michelle Gadd, a former Rotary Ambassador Scholar who discussed African Elephant Conservation, and Shepherdstown Rotary member Daan Vreugdenhil, who just returned from several months in Ethiopia.

The importance of learning a foreign language and culture was emphasized as the students Skyped with a project in Nicaragua.

The students also participated in planting over 200 trees on the grounds of NCTC.

The Rotary clubs thank NCTC for its support in organizing this event and extend special thanks to NCTC’s Mark Madison, Sarah Gannon-Nagle and Jim Siegel for moderating and helping with logistical arrangements.